When churlish, spoiled rich man Bob Merrick foolishly wrecks his speed boat, the rescue team resuscitates him with equipment that's therefore unavailable to aid a local hero, Dr. Wayne ... See full summary »
A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
In present-day U.S., Dr. Michael Parker, a prominent surgeon, unexpectedly runs into his German-born wife whom he thought was dead. Victor, an artist and his "dead" wife's now boyfriend, ... See full summary »
Wealthy Samuel Fulton is getting older and has no family of his own. He decides to leave his estate to the family of his first love, who turned down his marriage proposal years ago because ... See full summary »
Saloon entertainer Vermilion O'Toole and her former partner in crime Newt Cole escape from a train ride to prison and hide out in logging town Timberline. Meanwhile, the three 'cute' sons ... See full summary »
In 1904, Doc Tilbee, medicine show huckster and champion tall-tale teller, gives a ride to a young boy escaped from an orphanage, where bad conditions (the result of political graft) are ... See full summary »
In 1944, a company of German soldiers on the Russian front are numbed by the horrors and hardships of war when Private Ernst Graeber's long awaited furlough comes through. Back home in Germany, he finds his home bombed. While hopelessly searching for his parents, he meets lovely Elizabeth Kruse, daughter of a political prisoner; together they try to wrest sanity and survival from a world full of hatred. Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to the Australian DVD sleeve notes, they state that Douglas Sirk's "standing amongst the new auteurist critics in Europe was on the rise, with Jean-Luc Godard writing on Sirk's 1957 film, A Time to Love and a Time to Die, in the influential journal 'Cahiers du Cinema'." See more »
Early in the movie when the platoon is dismissed, one of the soldiers is seen carrying a machine gun on his shoulder. It is clearly visible that there is no barrel inside the barrel shroud. See more »
A strange marriage of warfilm and Hollywood romanticism
The films of Douglas Sirk have been variously described as "masterpieces" and "tosh". I think the answer lies somewhere in between. Certainly the series he made at the peak of his career for Universal International in the 'fifties are romantic melodramas of a superior kind. Although photographed in gaudy chocolate-box colours with soundtracks overladen with scores drenched in aural syrup and with sometimes the most outlandish of plots - "Magnificant Obsession" for instance - they have, beneath their surface glitter, a hard edged observation of an affluent American society struggling to come to grips with moral values - "All that Heaven Allows" and "Imitation of Life" are particularly good examples. But, interesting as these film are, it is the odd man out, a film set not in America at all but in Germany and the eastern front in the closing stages of the Second World War, "A Time to Love and a Time to Die", that, in spite of its not inconsiderable unevenness, could well be his most lasting legacy. Its most striking feature is that, notwithstanding its vastly different territory, it remains a Sirk film stylistically. The director almost seems to be signing his signature with the shot of pink blossom against the opening and closing credits. Although the outer sections of a German unit under shellfire on the eastern front are the very stuff of warscape recreation at their near best, it is the long central passage where the young German soldier - surprisingly well played by John Gavin - returns on leave to his heavily bombed town, that is the most Sirkian. Here, between devastating airaids, the hero forms an idyllic romantic attachment to a vaguely remembered friend from childhood followed by a whirlwind courtship. Amazingly for the last night of his leave the couple find, amidst all the devastation, an untouched house for the consumation of their marriage, where they are tended by a kindly frau who brings them a bottle of wine from the cellar. At this point the airaid is only glimpsed through the window. At an earlier point in the leave the couple dine in an unbelievably stylish restaurant, although here at least Sirk has the honesty to interrupt the proceedings with a pretty devastating direct hit which leaves one diner running is a sea of flames. If I have reservations about some of the romantic trappings of the scenes in Germany, I have none about the intense realism of the scenes on the eastern front. Would that the film was all on this level.
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